You might have heard that the New England Patriots now have the #1 defense in the league. You know, as in the best. That's not too bad for a defense that experienced some of the greatest personnel turnover in the offseason and one that has been missing their most dynamic player (Jamie Collins) for the past three games.
Collins should be back next week against the Denver Broncos and the shaky Patriots offense will need the defense to continue playing at a high level until Josh McDaniels can find a way to have Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola master the Fusion Dance.
Fortunately for the Patriots, their upcoming opponents aren't having the best seasons by their quarterbacks.
Their next opponent just benched Worst Quarterback in the League Peyton Manning in favor of back-up Brock Osweiler who looked spectacularly pedestrian in his first start against the 27th ranked Chicago Bears defense.
The Patriots face the Eagles in week 13 and their starting quarterback Sam Bradford is limited with a concussion and separated shoulder on his non-throwing arm. Mark Sanchez was wildly ineffective against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past week.
The Texans expect Brian Hoyer to return this week, but he's not been very good this year. Back-up T.J. Yates is coming off back-to-back victories against the Bengals and the Jets, so a bad Hoyer outing against the Saints and/or Bills could lead to another turnover by the week 14 match-up. Bill O'Brien probably won't have a quick hook for Hoyer, though, after benching the quarterback earlier in the season.
And then the Patriots play Titans rookie Marcus Mariota in week 15. At home. With a win needed to help claim homefield advantage. Oh yeah.
The Broncos and the Texans have been playing great defense and the Patriots offense is clearly missing some of their key offensive players due to health concerns. But the Patriots defense will be in terrific position to carry the team to victory against some of the weaker offenses the league has to offer.